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2017 Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Symposium


Promoting Retention of Culinary Nutrition Students using the Social Cognitive Career Theory

Whitney Linsenmeyer

Culinary nutrition is an emerging niche discipline that combines two traditionally separated career paths: that of the registered dietitian and professional chef. Only two accredited academic programs in the United States offer a degree in culinary nutrition: Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Johnson & Wales University at its Denver, Colorado and Providence, Rhode Island campuses. This qualitative study utilized focus groups at these two institutions to investigate the motivations and career aspirations of undergraduate students pursuing a degree in culinary nutrition. The Social Cognitive Career Theory was used to frame the study design and resulting discussion.

Developing occupational science/therapy students' cultural sensitivity through cross-cultural concept presentations

Beccy Aldrich

Background: Technology-based international educational collaborations must align with course learning objectives and educators' goals for students' development (Aldrich & Johansson, 2015; Asher et al., 2014; Grajo & Aldrich, 2016; Sood et al., 2014). This presentation will describe an international exchange between 52 U.S. occupational science students and 40 South African occupational therapy students that occurred in 2016. Through instructor-facilitated sessions, these undergraduate students connected via six 60 to 120-minute videoconferences embedded in existing coursework. During the exchanges, small student groups presented their respective understandings about occupational identity (Phelan & Kinsella, 2009), occupational possibilities (Laliberte Rudman, 2010), occupational choice (Galvaan, 2015), and occupational consciousness (Ramugondo, 2015); discussed their application of these constructs to self-chosen, contextually-relevant examples; and made connections between these constructs and ideas about occupational justice. The exchanges also allowed students to ask questions about international peers' cultures, contexts, educational experiences, and views on occupational therapy practice. Method: 21 U.S. and 16 South African students voluntarily completed an anonymous 6-item electronic survey after the end of the exchanges to describe: their understandings of the purpose of the interactions; the ways in which the interactions were or were not learning experiences for them; and what they learned about specific concepts through the interactions. A directed content analysis approach (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) guided our analysis of students' survey responses. Discussion: Our findings show that both student groups perceived the exchanges as a way to humanize what they were learning about the occupational perspective while sensitizing them to the fact that dominant Western cultural ideas that are prominent in occupational science and occupational therapy literatures do not always translate across international contexts. Students reported that having to explain the assigned constructs, as well as seeing how peers applied them to context-specific examples, increased their overall understanding of the constructs. Implications: These exchanges were designed to promote cross-cultural understandings, allowing students the opportunity to explore how occupational science and occupational therapy constructs might be taken up across different contexts. The implications of the findings will be discussed with a focus on how experiential and multicultural occupational science and occupational therapy education may help increase conceptual understandings while fostering cultural sensitivity and contributing to the development of critical occupational therapists. The presentation will conclude by describing the ways in which student feedback helped refine exchanges for new student cohorts in 2017.

On the Path to Intercultural Competence

Kelly Lovejoy and Allison Claudson

In "On the Path to Intercultural Competence" we investigate the topic of intercultural competency (ICC) through an examination of the writing of beginning and intermediate learners of Spanish as a second language. Intercultural competence has been defined as "the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations" - for example, with members of the host culture in study abroad, or with colleagues and clients in business negotiations (Deardorff, 2006: 247). Broadly speaking, ICC is a process that begins with the development of cultural attitudes that in turn support the development of cultural knowledge and skills that individuals may use in intercultural situations.

Effectiveness of an Introductory Interprofessional Course in Building Readiness for Collaboration

Anthony Breitbach, Kathrin Eliot, Eileen Toomey, and Leslie Hinyard

Interprofessional Education (IPE) prepares collaborative-ready health professionals; however, the actual process of learning "about, from and with" each other is widely debated in the literature. Though the impact of IPE on student learning outcomes has been widely studied; many studies use measures of student attitudes and beliefs towards IPE rather than changes in perceived or actual behavior. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of in introductory interprofessional education course on the development of collaboration skills. The course was modified from a previous version based on our teaching and research team's observation, reflection and application of best practices found in the literature. Methods: The primary intervention was Saint Louis University's IPE 1100 Introduction to Interprofessional Education course which includes learning experiences intentionally designed to build teamwork behaviors among novice health professions students. The course leverages technology to allow the teaching team to create an interactive, collaborative learning environment for over 500 students from 10 health professions. In 2016-17, students participating in IPE 1100 completed the Self Assessed Collaboration Scale (SACS), an 11-item scale that measures self-assessed collaborative behaviors, at two distinct time points: 1) directly after their first group meeting, and 2) upon completion of the final semester project. Results: Results of paired samples t-tests show that significant (p < 0.05) improvements were observed in students' self-assessed ability to collaborate with their teams from time 1 to time 2. Discussion: This study highlights the role of an introductory IPE course in improving self-assessed collaboration and teamwork skills of entry-level learners. Features of the course design that contribute to its effectiveness include: interactive class sessions, a culminating team project, and using in-class time for team meetings. Conclusion: An introductory IPE course can be effective in improving learners' self-assessed collaboration skills and prepare them for future IPE courses. Longitudinal assessment of the development of collaboration skills due to educational interventions will provide evidence for educational best practices to improve collaborative behavior in future health professionals.

Reflecting Upon Concept Mapping as a Research Tool

Dannielle Joy Davis and Vicki Fricke

Concept maps have been used in classrooms nationwide as tools for idea creation, information recall, and writing production at both undergraduate and graduate levels. But in what ways can concept mapping contribute to the learning experiences and academic outcomes of new researchers? The work explores this research question, as the lead author and her graduate students explore concept maps and their utility in learning and conducting research during a Qualitative Research course. An auto-ethnographic approach will be taken in answering the featured research question. Reflective journals will serve as data in this co-authored project and the constant comparative method of data analysis will be employed during analysis.

Feedback reinforcement of classroom learning through a design-build-fly-redesign loop

Srikanth Gururajan

The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has seen an explosive growth and is poised for more in the coming years. This has resulted in a new landscape for novel and yet to be conceived applications UAS operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) and it will only grow more diverse in the future. As it stands today, small businesses and startup companies drive most of the growth, novel applications and commercial operations, resulting in a significant competition in coming up with new and novel designs and operations for the UAS. As with other industries, it is natural to expect that the invisible hand of the market, as well as evolution by natural selection will shape the future of UAS designs and operations - and in a few years, it will result in a small, but proven and well-established set of UAS designs that are used for most of the UAS operations. Thus, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that during this initial phase, there will be a demand from the industry for aerospace engineers who can design, build and flight test a UAS platform, starting purely from specifications/requirements. As the UAS designs converge to a set of proven platforms, the demand for graduates from a multitude of engineering disciplines and sciences who are capable of leveraging these platforms to perform a given goal/mission is only going to grow. In this setting, it becomes imperative for aerospace engineering programs universities to adapt themselves to meet the demands of this rapidly evolving industry. Towards that, the curriculum should have a goal to develop methodologies to foster experiential learning and promote retaining a deep understanding of the concepts regarding all aspects of aircraft design (aerodynamics, propulsion and structures), dynamics & controls, particularly as applicable to UAS. The goal intent of this effort is to seek and identify topic areas in a typical curriculum that are more relevant to current and projected SUAS market demands with the objective to integrate and reinforce undergraduate in-class learning experience with specific tasks in the lifecycle of a systems engineering based Student Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) competition. At this stage, informal and anecdotal evidence indicates usefulness of the hands-on experience in reinforcing classroom learning in the context of a senior level aerospace engineering class on flight dynamics, stability and controls. In the long run, the intent is to collect data during various stages of the classroom learning process, including formal surveys (beginning of class, mid-semester, end of the semester and end of the competition in summer) and short, in-class assessments (such as quizzes), as well as feedback on student perception and actual UAS performance (flight data) during the competition cycle to detect and identify correlations between classroom teaching and actual real-world performance.

Creating a Self-Sustaining Research Program for Medical Students

James Gallogly, Faraji Farhoud, and Joseph Brunworth

Background: Performing research in medical schools helps improve medical student analytical thinking, teamwork, and organizational skills. However, many entering medical students are deficient in fundamental research competencies to contribute substantively to biomedical research teams. In the traditional model, students learn research competencies under the guidance of faculty mentors. However, time constraints limit the number of students that faculty can train. In addition, highly trained senior medical student researchers are lost each year to graduation, diminishing incentives for faculty mentors to devote significant resources to training medical students. To address the obstacles of time constraints and student turnover in medical research, we propose a self-sustaining, student-driven model for training medical students to conduct research.

Model: In the "See One, Do One, Teach One" model, faculty mentors and senior students guide junior students in progressively developing the skills necessary to independently complete research projects. Research skills are taught using interactive online modules, which provide feedback to students and metrics to mentors. In addition, these online models enable scaling users without impacting time burden on faculty. Students advance through the program via a graded responsibility system, learning to teach future student generations, collaborate with peers, and maintain the store of highly trained medical student researchers.

Discussion: Since January 2016, our research training paradigm has trained 30 students in basic research competencies. A core group of seven highly trained participants have produced 9 peer-reviewed. Through student-driven teaching and mentoring, peer-to-peer collaboration, online teaching software, and faculty mentorship, the "See One, Do One, Teach One" model has begun to address medical student barriers to research. Through this approach, students and faculty partner to increase research productivity, enabling more students to be trained."

Interprofessional Geriatrics Case Competition for Health Professions Students,

Helen Lach, Milta Little, and Marla Berg-Weger

Health professions students often learn in professional silos, which reinforce the negative hidden curriculum of professional hierarchy, uni-disciplinary care, and fragmented communication. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) identified core competencies to promote enhanced training in team-based care, to improve population health. In geriatrics and gerontology, team-based interprofessional care improves outcomes for older adults and is a major tenet of geriatrics practice. We describe a program that brought together students from eight health profession colleges to design a comprehensive care plan using a simulated geriatric patient case, supported by the Gateway Geriatric Education Center.
Students attended an orientation and had access to a faculty mentor. We assigned students by profession to include 3-5 different professionals on each team. Over a month, students worked together to design care for a complex older adult, with multiple health issues. Teams presented their care plan and presentations were scored on a rubric based on the IPEC core competencies for interprofessional practice by a panel of faculty judges.

Students rated experiences on a 5-point scale of poor to good (high). Ratings were positive: 76% reported good communication with team members, 80% good distribution of labor, 72% high commitment of team members. The overall ratings were also positive, with 72% giving high ratings of the experience; 92% would recommend the experience to other students. Evaluations by judges and mentors and students indicated that students learned valuable lessons in group dynamics, team-based care, and geriatric care principles.